29 December 2007

Where there is nothing ... there is God!

I was forgetting, we cannot destroy the world (that is, our commitment to he material) with armies, it is inside our minds that it must be destroyed, it must be consumed in a moment inside our minds. God will accomplish his last judgment, first in one man's mind and then in another. He is always planning last judgments. And yet it takes a long time.

I was mistaken when I set out to destroy Church and Law. The battle we have to fight is fought out in our own mind. There is a fiery moment, perhaps once in a lifetime, and in that moment we see the only thing that matters. It is in that moment the great battles are lost and won, for in that moment we are a part of the host of Heaven ... [W]e shall not come to that joy, that battle, till we have put out the senses, everything that can be seen and handled, as I put out this candle. . . . We must put out the whole world as I put out this candle. . . . We must put out the light of the stars and the light of the sun and the light of the moon . . . till we have brought everything to nothing once again. I saw in a broken vision, but now all is clear to me. Where there is nothing, where there is nothing -- there is God! (W. B. Yeats, Where There is Nothing).

28 December 2007

Truth quote

Most people who claim
to seek the truth really
only want confirmation
of those things which
they already believe.

Truth would require
that they abandon their
"comfort zones"
and do something
concrete - to make real
changes in their lives.
--Alan Watt

25 December 2007

money quote

Henry David Thoreau said, "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to leave alone."

The truly rich person is the one who does not think about money. By this standard many billionaires are paupers. In fact, the more money a person has, the harder it is to think of anything else.

Word to the Wise: Acronym

An "acronym" (AK-ruh-nim) is a word formed by combining the initial letters (or parts) of several words. Some common words that you might not recognize as being acronyms include:
  • laser (Lightwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)
  • radar (RAdio Detecting And Ranging)
  • scuba (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus)
  • sonar (SOund NAvigation Rangin)
  • yuppie (Young Urban Professional)
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How to Get the Best Seat on an Airplane

This information is so good that I'm reluctant to give it out.

Other than knowing the differences among window, aisle, and bulkhead seats, most people have no clue as to whether one spot on a plane is better for them than any other. But now there are two websites that list the major carriers and the aircraft they use (e.g., DC10, 737, etc.) - and comment on the best and worst seats in each type of configuration. Some of their ratings are based on obscure criteria that you can't determine from a seating diagram, such as annoying bright lights, bothersome movie screens, small windows, etc.

See seatguru.com and seatexpert.com for details - and don't tell anyone else about this.

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This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet's most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.

24 December 2007

5 Things You Might Not Know You Can Do on Google

1.
Enter "define" in the Google search box, then a colon, then a space, and then the word or expression you want defined.
2. Find out what Google thinks about just about anything or anyone (including you) at www.googlism.com.
3. Enter an airplane's tail number in the Google search box to find out the plane's service history.
4. Yankees or Red Sox? Heaven or hell? Pen or sword? Which one gets more Google hits? Find out this and much more at www.googlefight.com.
5. Enter a few key ingredients to get many recipes.

(Source: David Hochman in The New York Times)

22 December 2007

quote

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,

but that it is too low and we reach it."

- Michelangelo

21 December 2007

Wishing Merry Christmas to Democrats and Republicans

Wishing Merry Christmas to Democrats and Republicans


A Typical Democrat

To My Democratic Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.



A Typical Republican
To My Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!





quote

"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future,
and live in the only moment of time over which you have
any control: now."

- Denis Waitley

20 December 2007

3,000 More Combat Robots Ordered

Strategy Page
Posted at Thought Criminal: 2007-12-19 18:30:40

The U.S. Army has ordered another 3,000 Packbot combat robots. This is the second generation Packbot 510, which is lighter, faster, stronger, more rugged and reliable than the thousands of existing PackBots. The army already has about 4,000 of these small robots in Iraq and Afghanistan. While they are mainly used to deal with roadside bombs and booby traps, they are becoming more popular as infantry scouts and sentinels. In this role, the PackBot can explore caves or buildings suspected of containing enemy troops or booby traps, as well as stand guard in dangerous locations.

The PackBot 510 weighs 42 pounds, and can carry up to 46 pounds of equipment. It uses a new controller that looks, and operates, very much like a video game controller. This makes training, and use, of the PackBot much easier. Most troops have video game experience. The wireless controller can operate a PackBot at a distance of up to 1,000 meters. The battery lasts 2-12 hours, depending on mission. The longer time is for when you are using the PackBot as a sentinel, just sitting there with its camera on. It's a compact device (28 inches long, 16 wide and 8 high). It can be tossed through a window into a room, and quickly get to work. Top speed is about 2.5 meters a second, and it can climb stairs. It's waterproof and can travel up to ten kilometers on one charge. This model will cost about $90,000 each. Police departments are also big customers, using the PackBot for checking out bomb threats, and in SWAT type situations.

Robots help elderly when humans cannot

Cincinnati Enquirer Dec. 14, 2007
*************************
If you grow old in Japan, expect to be served food by a robot, ride a voice-recognition wheelchair or even possibly hire a nurse in a robotic suit--all examples of cutting-edge technology to care for the country's graying population. With nearly 22
percent of Japan's people aged 65 or older, businesses have been rolling out everything from ... continue

19 December 2007

Quote

"Having kids has been a fantastic thing for me. It’s meant that I’m a little more balanced. In my twenties I worked massively, hardly took vacation at all. Now, with the help of my wife, I’m always making sure I’ve got a good balance of how I spend my time."

Bill Gates

The Way You Work Could Be Working Against You

By Michael Masterson

"If I had more time, I’d have more fun," we tell ourselves. Or, "If I had more time, I’d knit/ paint/ write a novel/ [fill in the blank]."

Time is an equal opportunity provider. Every one of us, regardless of age, sex, race, or religion, has the same 24 hours a day. How we use those hours determines our success.

On the one hand, we know that working long, hard hours is a characteristic of most successful people. On the other hand, we understand that working that way gives us little pleasure and less time to pay attention to family, friendship, intellectual stimulation, etc.

"Workaholism is an addiction," Julia Cameron says in The Artist’s Way, "and like all addictions, it blocks creative energy." Cameron’s concern in the book is to find time for creative writing. But her advice is useful for anyone who is fighting his or her workaholic streak.

You can be successful in business without sacrificing personal relationships. You can make money and art too. You can accomplish your major goals in all of life’s four most important dimensions:

  1. Your health-building goals
  2. Your wealth-building goals
  3. Your social responsibilities
  4. Your personal aspirations

To do so, you’ve got to follow a productivity plan that recognizes (1) achieving any important goal takes time, (2) at any specific period of time in your life you must establish priorities and give primary attention to your top goals, (3) many of the problems prioritizing may cause can be limited by respectful scheduling and thoughtful communication, and (4) as opportunities change, so must your objectives.

You must also recognize that the way you work right now may be working against you. A workaholic pattern might help you accomplish your primary goal, but will usually leave your other goals in a shattered heap.

Begin, today, with this self-administered evaluation - from Julia Cameron - to help you figure out if you have workaholic habits. Answer "seldom," "often," or "never" to the following:

  • I work outside of office hours.
  • I cancel dates with loved ones to do more work.
  • I postpone outings until the deadline is over.
  • I take work with me on vacations.
  • I take work with me on weekends.
  • I take vacations.
  • My intimates complain that I always work.
  • I try to do two things at once.
  • I allow myself free time between projects.
  • I allow myself to achieve closure on tasks.
  • I procrastinate in finishing up the last loose ends.
  • I set out to do one job and start on three more at the same time.
  • I work in the evenings during family time.
  • I allow calls to interrupt - and lengthen - my workday.
  • I prioritize my day to include an hour of creative work/play.
  • I place my creative dreams before my work.
  • I fall in with others’ plans and fill my free time with their agendas.
  • I allow myself down time to do nothing.
  • I use the word "deadline" to describe and rationalize my workload.
  • I go everywhere, even to dinner, with a notebook or my work numbers.

"There is a difference between zestful work toward a cherished goal and workaholism," says Cameron. "That difference lies less in the hours than it does in the emotional quality of the hours spent. There is a treadmill quality to workaholism. We depend on our addiction and we resent it. For a workaholic, work is synonymous with worth, and so we are hesitant to jettison any part of it."

Your answers to Julia Cameron’s self-evaluation questions will give you a quick sense of whether you have a problem with workaholism. But don’t just test yourself. Do what I did. Ask a few members of your family, or a few friends, to answer those questions for you. You may be surprised by what you find out.

It can be hard to make time for your personal life when you’re trying to prove to your boss that you deserve a raise… when you’re busy building your business… or when you just plain love what you do. But don’t work so hard or so long that you neglect your family and friends. If you do that, you will eventually regret it.

Here’s how I keep myself from falling into that trap:

  • I don’t take work home at night. I put in my time at the office, and then I come home… without my laptop and papers.
  • I don’t take work home on weekends. If I want to put in a few extra hours on Saturday, I clear it with my family in advance. But, again, I don’t pull out the computer or papers in front of them. It sends the wrong message.
  • Away from work, I try my best to stay "in the present." For me, this was the hardest lesson to learn, because my mind is always jumping from one topic (the story someone is telling me) to another (something related that happened at work). When I feel myself drifting - and it happens frequently - I pull myself back.

When I follow these rules, I am happier twice - at work and at home. I recommend that you do the same.

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This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet's most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.

IBM Reveals Five Innovations that Will Change Our Lives Over the Next Five Years

PhysOrg.com, Dec. 18, 2007

The second annual "IBM Next Five in Five" is a list of innovations with the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years:

1. It will be easy for you to be green and save money doing it.
2. The way you drive will be completely different.
3. You are what you eat, so you will know what you eat.
4. Your cell phone will be your wallet, your ticket broker, your concierge, your bank, your shopping buddy, and more.
5. Doctors will get enhanced "super senses" to better diagnose and treat you.


Read Original Article>>

Hitting the Road for the Holidays

By Bonnie Caton

Websites and blogs are filled with advice on how to travel by air. Rarely, though, do you read anything about road travel. Yet, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, at least 91 percent of holiday long-distance travel in the U.S. this year will be by car.

Before you pack up and hit the road, keep a few things in mind:

  • You can easily steer clear of traffic and accidents with up-to-date traffic reports for anywhere in the U.S., free, on traffic.com. You can also call the website’s toll-free number, 1-866-MY-TRAFC. I tried it yesterday. A computer voice prompted me to answer questions, and then computed the traffic for the road I asked for.
  • Scope out your potty breaks before you leave the house. thebathroomdiaries.com is a fun site that reviews public bathrooms in the U.S. and in over 120 countries. (Some of them look a little scary.) It will help you find bathrooms on your route that meet your standards.
  • A good way to stay awake and keep everyone in the car entertained is to listen to audio books. You can download them for free at librivox.org - and there are about 1,000 titles to choose from. Download them to your computer and then burn them to CD or copy to an MP3 player that you can hook up to your car stereo.

[Ed. Note: Bonnie Caton is AWAI Travel’s Member Liaison. For 93 more time-saving, money-making travel tips, click here. Find deals, ensure a smoother trip, and even find out how to get paid for your travels.]

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.

04 July 2007

I'll Fly Away

Alison Kraus sings a beautiful rendition of "I'll Fly Away" along with some appropriate video footage.

Time after Time

Eva Cassidy sings Time after Time, which reminds of Cyndi Lauper singing it on MTV when I was in college ...

19 June 2007

RechargeIT.org

Google is at it again. Their philanthropic wing, google.org, is offering $10 million to anyone who can produce a car that gets 100 miles per gallon. This is part of a larger campaign that is described in this video.

19 May 2007

Flickrvision 3D

Twittervision and Flickrvision, sites that geographically overlay posts from Twitter and photos from Flickr onto Google Maps.Get ready for another lost weekend, kids, because both are now available in 3D format. David Troy has figured out how to combine Twitter and Flickr with the spinning 3D globe from Google Earth.

Twittervision 3D

twittervision3d.jpg


Flickrvision 3D

flickrvision3d.jpg

Use the slide bar on the left to zoom in; the text above it shows the latitude and longitude of the source.By the way, if you're a Mac user, you can get the Twittervision/Flickrvision screensaver, for zero productivity all of the time!


12 May 2007

Spiritual Technologies



Craig Warren Smith, a Seattle native, is a former Harvard (Kennedy School) professor, a founder of the global movement to close the Digital Divide, and for 30 years a Buddhist teacher. In the mid-1990s as a consultant to Bill Gates, he led a strategic planning process that helped Microsoft and its founder find the distinct role of philanthropy in its corporate culture.

ABSTRACT Can the next generation of technologies advance the spiritual development of individuals and communities? The speaker, director of the Spiritual Computing Research Group, will argue that several trends – Web 2.0 innovations, neuroscience's interactions with the Dalai Lama, and West's new embrace of premodern wisdom traditions – all combine to bring spiritual principles at the doorstep of the world's technological laboratories. The upshot: today's system architects may be able to measure fuzzy notions like user empowerment. "Tech researchers will get algorithms that show if they are empowering users, addicting them or just delivering ease of use," he says.

Spiritual technologies, he says, could release enormous pent up demand for web services in advanced markets (where 83% of users are "spiritual") and in emerging markets such as India where spirituality is fundamental for survival. Examples: versions of Wikipedia in which wisdom, not mere knowledge, rises to the surface; gaming as spiritual quest; online enhancement of Islamic rituals; locative technologies that use feng shui to create sacred spaces, biofeedback interfaces that bring mindfulness into cancerous organs; technological support for 12 step programs that transform addiction into empowerment.


Read here for more from Craig Warren Smith about the interface between Buddism and technology.

16 April 2007

TED conference makes videos available free online

TED, known for its annual invitation-only summit of the "world's brightest minds," today made high-resolution videos of more than 100 full-length TED talks available free on its new website.




TED.com's impressive new design includes an innovative custom video player. Shown here (click to play): Ray Kurzweil's TED 2006 talk, "How technology's accelerating power will transform us")

This is an important moment in TED's history," said Chris Anderson, Curator of TED. "With the launch of our new website we're really saying to the world: We want to share with you our best content for free, and we want you to connect with like-minded people inspired by these talks. In other words, we see the site as a way of dramatically expanding our community from the 1000 people who attend the conference to millions of knowledge seekers around the globe."

KurzweilAI.net, April 16, 2007

13 April 2007

Nanotechnology Takes Off



What's 100,000 times thinner than a strand of hair? A nanometer. Discover the nanotech boom in Berkeley, where researchers are working to unlock the potential of nanoscience to battle global warming and disease.

KQED Quest

12 April 2007

Acceleration Studies Foundation slide shows


Here are some excellent slide shows that will engage your mind and imagination. They are selected PowerPoint presentations by Accelerating Studies Foundation president John Smart. More may be found at his personal site.

If you don't have Microsoft's Powerpoint software I suggest you download the free Open Office Suite. It can display and save documents in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, etc., as well as it's own, often superior, formats.

Here are some titles to some of the many slide shows found here:
  • Adapting to the Future (249 slides, 19MB) Slides component of a daylong workshop with NASIC staff on guiding accelerating change for strategic advantage. May 2006
  • Stanford Singularity Summit: Searching for the Big Picture (90 slides, 8MB) A three part framework for understanding and guiding accelerating change. Apr 2006
  • POST Command College: Accelerating Change, Foresight and Evo Devo (153 slides, 9MB) Assumptions, models, studies, skillsets, domains, and systems relevant to accelerating change. Jan 2006
  • Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 14: Accelerating Change Toolkit (147 slides, 6MB) Assumptions, processes, studies, skillsets, domains, trends, and scenarios in accelerating change. For physician-innovators. Nov 2005
  • Tamkang University: How to be a Strategic Futurist (169 slides, 6MB) An integral approach to predicting, managing, and creating our accelerating future. For futurists.

ASF: Slide Presentations

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11 April 2007

Domo the Magnificent

Go to Bed Bath and Beyond and similar stores today and you may buy a little robot that will vacuum your house. Robotic vacuum cleaners, mops and pool cleaners are already available. That is not all that robots can do today. The April 11, 2007 edition of  from San Hose, California, touts Domo.

Watch the humanoid robot named Domo. Domo can make a stiff drink. He can put away groceries, shake hands, and, if properly prompted, give a person a hug. Not that remarkable, except for one thing: Domo is a real, live humanoid robot. And he may fascinate you or creep you out. But there is no doubt: Domo is the future. According to the Mercury News, Domo won't be going on sale at Amazon.com anytime soon. His inventor, Aaron Edsinger, an MIT postdoctoral associate, thinks it could take years before it makes economic sense to mass produce full-fledged humanoid robots.

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06 April 2007

TEDTalks / Inspiring videos

TEDTalks is an excellent online video resource if you want to hear short (20 minute or so) inspiration talks by cutting edge leaders in the fields of design, education, and technology. Listen to 3 of them in a row and see how you learn something new and get inspired.

Rick Warren is the one religious leader I have found among the many videos. Pastor Rick Warren is author of The Purpose-Driven Life, which has sold 30 million copies worldwide. (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 21:46) Watch Online

TEDTalks (audio, video)

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Jott.com - Mobile Note Taking and Hands-Free Messaging

Jott.com is a free service that turns your cell phone into an email reminder system. Register at the Jott.com website, then put the Jott toll-free phone number as a fast dial number on your cell phone. Now when you have an idea or remember something you need to do ... but you are away from your computer or can't get to it right now ... Jott an email to yourself via the jott toll-free number. This is a cool and useful application worth consideration.

Here are some ways people use Jott:


  • Remind themselves of important things
  • Delegate tasks to people
  • Communicate with teams in one step
  • Record Expenses
  • Record Hours billed, and for what

Jott.com - Mobile Note Taking and Hands-Free Messaging

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Google Launches Free 411 Service



Here is a great help when you are on the road, at work or home, and need to call a business but don't know their phone number. It's a free 411 service from Google that is described below. Make it a voice activated automatic dial-in on your cell phone -- 1-800-GOOG-411 --and you are good to go.


I learned about it from this post on techcrunch.com:

Google threw a new product called Goog-411 into Google Labs today - a free telephone based information service that could replace toll 411 calls. About 2.6 billion 411 calls are made in the U.S. each year, and it is a $7 billion/year market.Goog-411 can be accessed by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411. The product is completely automated and there is no way to talk to a human for additional or clarifying information. You tell it your city and state, and then ask for a specific business or business category. In my tests the product was excellent. Although the voice recognition was only working at about 70% efficiency, I just said “back” and retried when it didn’t understand what I said. Results are spoken back or text messaged back to you, and you are automatically put through to the phone number requested.GOOG-411 is using Google’s normal local business information available on Google Maps and elsewhere. Businesses that want to add or correct data can do so here.

Google Launches Free 411 Service

02 April 2007

Vanquish Anger

Most of our suffering is born from our lack of understanding and insight that there is no separate self. The other person is you and you are the other person. If you get in touch with that truth, anger will vanish.

Thich Nhat Hanh,
Anger: Wisdom For Cooling The Flames, p. 115